Lausanne, Switzerland, June 21, 2013 – A classic World League match will take place, winless teams will finally taste victory, and one team will play their first at-home World League match ever during the fourth weekend of the 2013 FIVB World League.
Italy and Russia kick off week four of the World League in a classic meet on Friday. The teams have met 26 times in the tournament’s history, with Russia winning 16 matches and Italy 10. Russia have the longest current World League winning streak of any team: seven matches, dating back to last season, while Italy have started 4-0 for the first time since 2011. While the competition looks to be fierce, Italy will hope for an edge with Emanuele Birarelli, who has the best blocker in the World League this year, with 1.07 per set.
Both France and Poland are among the five countries without a World League win this year, but one will emerge victorious during their Pool A meetings on Friday and Sunday in France. For the third time in the last four years, France have lost their first four World League matches. But while neither team has a win, France will face a tough battle against Poland’s Pawel Zatorski, who has 3.44 digs per set, the most of all players in this season’s World League.
Undefeated Bulgaria will attempt to keep its winning record in the second Pool A match this weekend against Argentina. The countries have faced off 13 times before in the World League, with Bulgaria winning 10 of the matches.
Germany and Cuba will also try to find a victory in the World League, when the winless teams of Pool B meet Saturday and Sunday in Germany. Cuba are unbeaten against Germany in their last four meetings. They can win five consecutive World League matches against Germany for the first time since 1992-1994.
Also in Pool B, Iran will play their first two World League home matches ever, when they meet Serbia. The countries have played each other twice, when Iran came from behind to beat Serbia 3-2 in the 2011 World Cup in Tokyo, and Serbia won 3-0 in the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament in Nagoya. By sweeping Iran, Serbia would equal their second best ever start since competing as an independent country. They also won four of their first six in 2012, one win shy of their record from 2010.
Pool C will introduce new rivals, The Netherlands and Portugal, who have never met before in the World League. After losing their opening match to Canada, the Netherlands rebounded to win their next three matches of this World League campaign, with a 3-1 record. Portugal have won only two of their last 23 World League matches.
For more information on the 2013 FIVB World League, view the links below:
2013 World League Tournament page
2013 World League Live Scorebox
2013 World League Schedule
FIVB World Rankings
Twitter - @FIVB Volleyball, @FIVBWorldLeague
Facebook: FIVB - International Volleyball Federation
YouTube: FIVB Video
VolleyWorld relives the action of the 2013 FIVB World League
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 8, 2013 – After six weeks of intense volleyball action during the Intercontinental Round of the 2013 FIVB World League, ... More...
The start of an era
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 23, 2013 - As the excitement of the World League Finals winds down, Andrea Zorzi takes a look back at the action and why h... More...
Canada jumps in rankings after World League performance
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2013 – The Canadian men’s national team’s exceptional performance in the 2013 FIVB World League has resulted in a seve... More...
Every point was made of gold - Spiridonov
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 - Alexey Spiridinov says 'every point was made of gold' as Russia overwhelmed Brazil 3-0 in the final match of... More...
We were surprised by Vettori - Sokolov
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 - Tsvetan Sokolov says the unexpected appearance of young Italian wing spiker Luca Vettori was the difference ... More...
Young Vettori makes a point as Italy win bronze
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 - Young Italian star Luca Vettori led Italy to their first World League medal since 2004 with a 3-2 win agains... More...
Russia become three-time World League champions
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 – Olympic champions Russia became the third country after Brazil and Italy to win three or more World League t... More...
Russia beat Brazil in straight sets to claim third World League title
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 – The Olympic champions and world No. 2 Russia defeated Brazil 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) to claim their third ... More...
Same Olympic matches, different World League teams
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 - The medal deciders at the 2013 World League Finals are exactly the same as last year's matches at the 2012 O... More...
Vettori leads Italy to bronze on Finals debut
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 – World No 3 Italy repeated their London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medal result by beating Bulgaria 3-2 (21-25... More...